Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Feast of St. Patrick
Patrick was kidnapped at age sixteen by pirates who took him to Ireland as a slave. He was a shepherd in the mountains but escaped after six years. He returned to Britain and became a priest. Pope Celestine then sent him back to Ireland as a missionary. He was made a bishop and managed to establish a native clergy; before his death in 461, Christianity had spread throughout Ireland. Later the Irish would spread the faith in other countries.
I grew up in St. Louis where Cardinal Glennon always gave permission to eat meat on St. Patrick's feast and not fast. I am three-fourths Irish; my maternal grandmother was a Lightholder and there are still Lightholders in Ireland living on the original farm that has had Lightholders there on Lightholder lane since the 18th century; my maternal grandfather was a McLaughlin and my mother always said the family was Scotch-Irish. My Dad's mother was a Murphy and really Irish to the core, although she married a Rosenthal. My grandfather McLaughlin could sing all the Irish ballads and usually just needed a couple of beers to hold forth on the feast of St. Patrick! It is a day to celebrate all the Irish!
The response for the Psalm is "Remember your mercies, O Lord."
From Psalm 25: "Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.
Remember that your compassion, O Lord, and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me, because of your goodness, O Lord.
Good and upright is the Lord; thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice, he teaches the humble his way.
The Gospel has Jesus telling Peter that he must forgive "not seven time but seventy-seven times."
Mercy must be measureless. We are to be merciful as our Father in heaven is merciful; that means an infinite amount of mercy!